LJWorld.com weblogs Big 12 realignment
Realignment aftermath: React, rejoice, move on
7:32 p.m. Update:
Here's what you've been waiting for... courtesy of KUsports.com online editor Jesse Newell, who missed most of the fun last week because he was on his honeymoon in Jamaica. Congrats, Jesse. Welcome back!!!
Anyway, here's Newell's Cliff's Notes version of what KU coaches Bill Self and Turner Gill had to say about the Big 12 staying together.
Reports have surfaced that Texas Tech and Oklahoma State are unhappy with the "deal" and that they're reconsidering, but sources told us around 2:30 p.m. today that Tech had committed to the new Big 12.
I think this is all fine and that the Big 12 will move forward as a viable league, as those reports are few and far between.
To calm your fears, read this.
More to come tomorrow so check back with KUsports.com often for more reaction and in case anything big breaks.
2:27 p.m. Update:
Hey all... We're headed up to KU to track down some coaches and hopefully athletic director Lew Perkins sometime soon. For now, here's a list of comments and reactions from some of the more influential people around the state, who have weighed in on this throughout the process.
Governor Mark Parkinson:
“This is great news to Kansas universities, student athletes, fans and our entire state. Today we solidify the future of the Big 12 Conference. In fact, we are in a better position than ever before. Chancellor Gray-Little, President Schulz and the Kansas Board of Regents provided outstanding leadership during this process. It was my pleasure to answer their call for assistance, and I appreciate their continued commitment to the state.”
Regents’ Chair Jill Docking, of Wichita, and Vice Chair Gary Sherrer, of Overland Park:
“We are delighted that an agreement to maintain the Big 12 Conference has been reached. Although there are a variety of details to be ironed out in the coming weeks, the strong commitment of the ten institutions involved ensures a bright future for the Big 12. The Board certainly applauds the collaborative efforts of K-State and KU to preserve the Conference. They share an intense rivalry on the field, which they skillfully re-focused on this successful and cooperative effort. This outcome is a win-win for our universities, their students and alumni, and the state.”
K-State President Kirk Schulz and K-State Athletics Director John Currie:
“Obviously, we are buoyed by the commitments of our existing colleagues and league institutions to preserve the Big 12 Conference and its position as one of the nation's top leagues. This was a very important moment in the history of Kansas State University and the University of Kansas. We both saw the significant value of keeping the Big 12 intact and we worked together diligently to help bring about this outcome. Together, we look forward to new levels of growth and opportunity in the conference. Our sincere appreciation goes to all of our league partners, and certainly Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe and his staff, for their hard work during this process.”
KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little and KU Athletics Director Lew Perkins:
“The University of Kansas is excited about the bright future of the Big 12 Conference and its ability to provide long-term strength and vitality for the league and its members. The conference going forward offers schedule and travel choices that exhibit a concern for the student-athlete, as well as maintaining the rivalries that mean so much to our fans. This outcome is a result of the hard work and collaboration of many people, including presidents, chancellors and athletics directors, as well as Commissioner Dan Beebe and leaders inside and outside Kansas. It was particularly gratifying to work with our friends at Kansas State, because while we may compete on the field, we both understand the importance of working together to advance the best the interests of the State of Kansas.”
11:40 a.m. Update:
A healthy, positive and upbeat sounding commissioner spoke to reporters this morning, thrilled to announce that the future of the Big 12 is a bright one.
Among the things Beebe discussed:
The last 120 hours or so have been a roller coaster but the whole thing has gone on a lot longer than that. He's glad it's over and he's thrilled with the outcome for all 10 members.
There is no reworked TV deal in place. Reports to that end are false. However, the league has been given "strong verification" that there will be a lucrative TV deal in the near future and that the numbers will approach those that have been reported.
A big reason the Big 12 stayed together? Money, of course, but also strong allegiance and the respect for college sports being a regional venture and that this league best suits this region.
Commitments from the 10 schools are not yet written into a contract but Beebe is not worried. He feels very comfortable and believes the public commitments made by the institutions — 9 of the 10 are in with Texas Tech waiting for a board meeting today — are as good as gold.
Several people reached out to Beebe to help and offer support. Many believed that the death of the Big 12 would not have been good for college athletics.
The five schools that weren't pursued heavily — KU, KSU, MU, ISU and BU — agreed to use further distributions of revenue to entice Texas, OU and A&M to stay in the Big 12. That seems to mean that the revenue will still be split up unequally but all 10 members seem fine with that and OU, Texas and A&M were flattered by the gesture.
Penalties for Nebraska and CU will likely be up to 80% of what they earn in the next two years. The penalties will be paid and that money will be distributed to the remaining 10 members. It's not that CU and Neb. will actually pay, though, just that their earnings will be withheld. Same thing, though. Money's coming in.
Beebe says the Big 12 is not looking to expand "at all" at this time and that he's unsure whether the league will explore having a football championship game. Sounded like he was leaning toward not pursuing it, citing not wanting the title tilt to hurt the chances of a team in line to play for the national title.
Wouldn't commit to not changing the name of the conference. Something the members will have to discuss.
More to come in the form of staff blogs, links and reactions and any word we can get out of KU. Stay tuned in to KUsports.com throughout the day.
10:59 a.m. Update:
Sounds like the money may be guaranteed. According to Chip Brown, of Orangebloods.com, the new TV deals guarantee $20 million annually for Texas, OU and A&M and between $14 and $17 million for the seven other schools.
Considering KU made just over $11 million during the 2008-09 season, that is a HUGE jump and something that should provide KU with great security in the future. Wow.
10:45 a.m. Update
Dan Beebe press conference about to get under way... Here's the link to listen to it live!
More to come throughout the day.
9:29 a.m. Update:
Just a couple of tidbits of information for those still following the whole realignment deal. And, believe me, if you're not, I don't blame you.
There's still a lot to learn, though, and for those interested in this thing, the next day or two could be just as informative as the last couple of days — maybe not as exciting, though.
Anyway... here's what we know. At 10 a.m. CDT today, the University of Texas will have a news conference to announce its decision to stay in the Big 12 — with 10 teams — and discuss the goings on of the past several days. I'm sure we'll get some answers — maybe not all — regarding (a) why they stayed, (b) what they're getting, (c) how the Big 12 was saved and (d) where we go from here.
That alone should be interesting.
Following that, however, at 11 a.m., Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe will be available to the media for another teleconference. The answers that don't come from Austin, may show up here, as I'm sure Beebe will be more than happy to discuss how things went down and how he saved the day. And why wouldn't he be? This guy, whether of his own doing or not, just pulled off a major upset.
I've been told by the powers that be around me that KUsports.com will carry Beebe's teleconference live right here on the site. So, if you want to listen, check it out.
That's the scoop for now. 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. are your times to remember. After that, we're expecting KU to have some sort of press conference or release some sort of statement this afternoon sometime. So stay tuned in to KUsports.com for that.
In the meantime, here's an interesting piece from ESPN's Andy Katz regarding the rescue of the Big 12 Conference.
I gotta be honest with you... It's almost hard to believe this is all over. Enjoy the day and enjoy the information that surfaces. Stay right here with KUsports.com for analysis and even more links throughout the day.